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The Trump Campaign Trashing Mr. Rogers Really Just Says It All

The Pittsburgh in me JUMPED out when the Trump campaign thought comparing Biden to Mr. Rogers was an INSULT.

Fred Rogers

Imagine a presidency that felt like an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It’d be soothing, right? Well, the Trump campaign seems to think that having the ability to soothe and inspire people like Mr. Fred Rogers is a bad thing. Mercedes Schlapp, a senior advisor for the Trump and Pence campaign, took to Twitter to share her thoughts on Joe Biden’s town hall last night. Somehow, comparing it to an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was … an insult? Or was she complimenting Biden and we just didn’t know it?

(Do not even get me started on the misspelling of Fred Rogers’ name. As a Pittsburgh kid, I’m ready to fight for the honor of Fred Rogers.)

So … it’s very telling that those involved with the Trump campaign seem to think being compared to someone like Fred Rogers is a bad thing. Rogers is considered to be almost saint-like by those who grew up watching him (i.e. me) because he was truly one of the nicest people on this planet. He wanted everyone to find that happiness within themselves and learn how to be better person for those around us, as well as for our own wellbeing.

Mr. Rogers taught us all that kindness is one of the most important things a human being can possess. So … not surprising that the Trump campaign thinks comparing someone to Fred Rogers is an insult. Before we get into why Fred Rogers was one of the best among us, let’s take a trip into the neighborhood.

To me, there is nothing more soothing than Fred Rogers. I watched both the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Tom Hanks drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and just sobbed because Rogers truly was someone who wanted us all to be the best neighbors we could be. I often think about how Fred Rogers would react to the hatred being spread throughout this country by the Trump administration.

But, like myself, many on Twitter grew up learning of compassion and empathy from Mr. Rogers and took to Twitter to call out the absolutely absurd “insult” from Mercedes Schlapp.

My love for Mr. Rogers never wavers, and if we could have a presidency that is anywhere as calming as an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood then I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Schlapp attempted some damage control after the fact:

But there’s really just no way to believably take it back without also abandoning the toxic, kindness-averse worldview that led to the comment in the first place, which is clearly not something supporters of Donald Trump are going to do any time soon.

(image: PBS)

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Rachel is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, and wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. At least she gets to live in New York City though!